Policies on Implementing Data-Driven Recruitment & Retention Practices

Implementing Data-Driven Recruitment & Retention Practices graphic

Diligent Recruitment Navigator (Vermont)

Vermont used the Diligent Recruitment Navigator and technical assistance from the National Resource Center on Diligent Recruitment to develop its diligent recruitment plan. The plan emphasizes the importance of data access, collection and analysis but notes that access to the data is a challenge with the existing IT system. The agency’s QA team was engaged to establish data baselines and identify gaps regarding the three priority areas of increasing retention of kin, foster and adoptive families; improving recruitment by increasing timely system response from inquiry to licensure; and increasing available capacity of kin, foster and adoptive families. The state’s goals include using data to select the most effective recruitment activities, increasing consistency in data collection and providing diligent recruitment data to districts to support planning.

See Vermont's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Vermont's Core Team

Vermont created a vision for recruitment and retention that includes a theory of change, organizational culture change, infrastructure elements, major action priorities and a detailed action plan. The Core Team identified five key diligent recruitment and retention infrastructure elements: 1) responsive model of engagement and support; 2) community engagement; 3) unified policy and procedures; 4) training and development; and 5) a unified data model. The agency is also working on organizational culture change to ensure that all staff have a role to play in recruitment and retention. Vermont’s Diligent Recruitment plan also calls for coordination with other state agencies, including the Departments of Mental Health, Aging and Independent Living and the Agency of Education.

See Vermont's diligent recruitment plan for more information

Washington State Foster Care Funding Collaborative to Recruit, Train and License Foster Families

The Washington State Foster Care Funding Collaborative (FCFC) is a public/private partnership in which a consortium of foundations is funding 14 private provider agencies to work with the Washington state Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) to recruit, train and license new foster families in three years, beginning. The project is coordinated by the Washington Association for Children and Families (WACF), the state’s private agency membership organization, and consists of three components: (1) market research and segmentation; (2) a centralized portal for prospective foster parents; and (3) data collection.

See the CHAMPS Playbook for more details.

Washington State's Recruitment, Development and Support (RDS) Teams

In Washington, Recruitment, Development and Support teams in each region bring together community agencies, tribes, faith communities and other stakeholders to plan and implement recruitment and retention strategies. Washington is also piloting a Foster Care Funding Collaborative, described in the CHAMPS Policy Playbook, that uses a recruitment tool developed by the Washington Association for Children and Families to match the skills and preferences of prospective foster families with at least three private agencies. The state Department of Children, Youth and Families also collaborates with Northwest Resource Associates, the Northwest Adoption Exchange and the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence, a training consortium consisting of the University of Washington, Eastern Washington University and Partners for Our Children.

See Washington's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Wisconsin Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center

The resource center trains foster parents to recruit foster families within their communities. Each participating agency identifies a Foster Parent Champion for that purpose. Foster parents are reimbursed for time, travel and childcare and are given $100 gift cards for recruiting new licensed foster parents. The state also has a Foster Parent Advisory Committee that provides input on pending policies and legislation. Wisconsin partners with Quality Parenting Initiative.

See Wisconsin's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Preserving Connections

American Indian and Alaska Native children thrive with families that reflect their culture, especially if they need to be placed in out-of-home care. To preserve these connections, the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) lays out preferred placements for out-of-home care when a child who meets the ICWA’s definition of an “Indian child” is not able to be safe at home.

See brief by Casey Family Programs for more information.